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Plane crash co-pilot was lifeboat rescuer

The co-pilot killed in the Cork plane crash had previously helped rescue 66 people volunteering on a lifeboat in the north-east of England.

Andrew Cantle, 27, joined Sunderland RNLI in 2000 and spent eight years at the station before moving to York to take up his career as an airline pilot.

He had only been with Manx2 for a few months.

Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said lifeboat colleagues were in deep shock.

"Everyone involved with the lifeboat station is in total shock about the tragic loss of a very close and dear friend," Mr Nicholson said.

"While serving as a volunteer, Andy was always keen to learn new skills and always did everything to a very high standard, whether that was taking part in a rescue mission or helping promote the RNLI at a fundraising or promotional event.

"Since leaving the crew in 2008 he has kept in constant contact with the crew and was a regular visitor to the station whenever he was back in the area.

"Our sympathies, best wishes and support go to his parents, family and girlfriend at this extremely difficult time."

Mr Cantle first became involved with the RNLI after taking up community service through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

After completing the scheme in 2001, he stayed on as volunteer lifeboat crew before being promoted to Inshore Lifeboat Helmsman where he served until 2008.

The RNLI said Mr Cantle had taken part in 65 emergency missions and helped rescue 66 people.